Blipz and Chitz it ain’t, but it’s a start. Popular charitable digital game storefront Humble Bundle is offering — alongside a host of Adult Swim Games’ titles — a Mr. Poopy Butthole and Plumbus digital models.
To those unfamiliar with the format, Humble Bundle works with a variety of the gaming world’s biggest (and smallest, and most creative) fish to offer up bundles of game titles to download. And you only pay what you want for them.
It’s a novel system that highlights that generally as a mass entity, we are generous beasts. In fact, at the time of writing the total payments for this bundle alone stands at 162,539 USD.
And of what you do pay, you can choose how it’s split up between the store, the creators of the games and chosen charities.
Each week or so, a new bundle appears for a limited time. This Adult Swim Games bundle runs until June 13. Occasionally freebies associated with the game content are thrown in, and boy oh boy is it a fun one this time.
3D Print Your Own Rick and Morty Stuff — Oooh-wee!
To the uninitiated — if the above clip didn’t fill you in — Rick and Morty is a strange show. Filled with strange characters and in part improvised, it’s a fun ride and one that has grown a dedicated fanbase.
Anyone paying what they want for the bundle of games on Humble Bundle is emailed a download link to three models of things from the show. Even the miserly sum of zero dollars get you the STL files (but not the games).
In addition to two models of the affable Mr. Poopy Butthole (in normal and injured states), you also get a model of a Plumbus, the show’s all-purpose household object that’s so well known that explanation of its purpose isn’t necessary (and therefore, ever elusive).
NASA has been 3D printing radiation shields using the Additive Manufacturing Facility provided by Made in Space.
The radiation shields cover one of two Radiation Environment Monitors inside NASA’s Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), an expandable habitat technology demonstration which began last year on the International Space Station (ISS).
This week NASA shared an update on the BEAM reaching the halfway point of its planned two-year demo, and it outlined how members of the ISS crew had printed a radiation a shield.
The first shield was printed in April 2017 at 1.1mm thick. Over the coming months this shield will be replaced by two thicker shields. This will determine whether the safeguards work effectively to block radiation. The first will measure around 3.3mm, and the second 10mm.
NASA has Learned Much about Expandable Habitats
First sent into orbit in March 2016, the Additive Manufacturing Facility is now a permanent fixture aboard the ISS. Made In Space owns the 3D printing platform, while NASA and other commercial partners use it as a service.
The goal with BEAM is to decrease the amount of transport volume for future space missions. Requiring minimal payload volume on a rocket, the habitat expands after deployment in space. This potentially provides a comfortable area for astronauts to live and work. In addition, BEAM provides some protection from solar and cosmic radiation, space debris, and other elements.
This week’s BEAM update highlighted how soft materials can perform just as well as rigid materials for habitation volumes in space. Back on Earth, researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, have been analyzing data from internal sensors, designed to monitor and locate external impacts of orbital debris.
So far they have recorded a handful of micrometeoroid debris impacts. Regardless, BEAM has also performed as expected, preventing debris penetration with multiple outer protective layers.
High School Students Make Robot Subs with 3D Printing
By Bulent Yusuf
The robotics team at Carl Hayden High School — otherwise known as Falcon Robotics — are using 3D printing to make super awesome robot subs.
Falcon Robotics is a high school robotics team of 9th-12th grade students in Phoenix, Arizona. Led by coach Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi (Lah-jeh-var-dee), a Marine Science teacher at Carl Hayden High School, they were an overnight sensation in 2004 when they competed as underdogs against high schools and universities to win a national championship.
Now 13 years later, Falcon Robotics is a titan incumbent in the FIRST Robotics series, testing their mettle in robotic submarine competitions like RoboSub (sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and AUVSI). According to Coach Fredi:
“Falcon Robotics works sort of like a small company. Different teams collaborate to design things like navigation software or propulsion systems, solving smaller problems, then fit them together to solve the broader challenges set out by the competition.”
The club has a computer lab and a makerspace that boasts a CNC machine and three desktop MakerBot 3D printers. Each year, they iterate on their HABOOB (Arabic for sandstorm) robo sub. They’re continually improving its ability to perform different autonomous, underwater tasks.
Robot Subs take a Deep Dive with 3D Printing
The HABOOB is a vehicle for various learning styles and STEM objectives. Designing an effective torpedo launcher, for example, ticks a lot of boxes. There’s CAD involved in designing a torpedo, and physics in figuring out its center of gravity and buoyancy.
Initially, Falcon Robotics’s torpedoes had poor balance. They also suffered from bad hydrodynamics and an unreliable launching mechanism. But thanks to 3D printing, they were able to test and refine designs in only a week, solving a challenge that would have otherwise taken more than a month.
Before Falcon Robotics had their own 3D printers, various robot parts were made from metal at a local machine shop. Alternatively, they were sent to a 3D printing service.
The parts did work, but outsourcing the creation of their designs wasn’t efficient enough for the students. And needless to say, the process was expensive and time-consuming.
After receiving their MakerBot printers, Falcon Robotics are now making parts in-house. Using 3D printing has speeded up the prototyping and design cycle considerably. Moving forward, the team have now fully adopted 3D printers into their workflow.
When Falcon Robotics enters next year’s robot subs challenge, they can 3D print new, tailored parts without a complete overhaul. From the internal lattices that organize the robot sub’s onboard electronics to the external pieces that support its battery and propulsion, the HABOOB is designed to be easily modified.
3D Printing Architecture Models for Beginners: A Guide
By Max Gicklhorn
3D printing has become an interesting alternative when it comes to building architecture models. Learn how to easily 3D print architectural models.
Once you start designing in the digital domain, the benefits are pretty clear. You can alter your digital model, try out variations on the fly and visualize problems easily.
The following tutorial will guide you through the process of 3D printing architectural models. Without getting out your model-building material, you’ll be able to quickly visualize your idea. It will definitely be more laid back than building your model by hand. Please be advised, that 3D printing an architectural model takes on average around 3-9 hours. he most complicated part is to get the architectural models converted for 3D printing – but we got you covered here.
The beauty of 3D printing is: You don’t even have to own a 3D printer to get to a great architecture model – you can always resort to 3D printing services (get the best price here).
The most complicated part is to get the architectural models converted for 3D printing – but we got you covered here.
3D Printing Architecture Models #1: What the Result Looks Like
Whether it’s a chair or an enormous building complex, all architectural ideas are possible to print. As an example, we used a simple apartment building with a couple of indentations in order to show you the possibilities of 3D printing. Watch the video to see how the result of our 3D printed architectural model will look like.
3D Printing Architecture Models #2: Create your 3D Model
It really is up to you which programs you use to create your vision. For this tutorial, we have designed our 3D printable architecture model in SketchUp Make.
Before creating your model with Sketch-Up you’ll want to choose the template “3D Printing” (see above) in either inches or millimeters. That way you will have your basic scale set up. Don’t mind that the Makerbot 2 is pre-programmed in the template, you can use whatever printer you want.
Most of the architectural students already have some experience with Sketch-up or similar CAD software. If not, look at our quick tutorial on SketchUp.
Although you might be familiar with the software, there are some important things to watch out while creating your model:
Do not double your lines! Otherwise, the slicer (that’s the software that makes your file 3D printable) will not recognize your model as a volume.
Before you convert your model, delete the Makerbot Box around your planned model, so all you see is the model itself, as in the picture below.
3D Printing Architecture Models #3: Convert your 3D Model into a .dae File
We have converted our SketchUp 3D model into a .dae file by exporting it as a 3D model and saving it as COLLADA File (*.dae). You can achieve this by clicking on the file and choosing Export > 3D Model > Export.
3D Printing Architecture Models #4: Turn Your 3D Model into an STL File
The next step is to turn your 3D architectural model into an STL file, which is the right data for any 3D print job. To do this, please download Meshlab. It‘s open source system for processing and editing 3D triangular meshes.
It provides a set of tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering, texturing and converting meshes – exactly what we need for our 3D printable architecture model.
Import your file into the software. Click on the file. Export Mesh as… -> Save as an STL File Format (*.stl). And we’re done here.
Now you can save your file and either go to one of the following stores around you or continue with your own printer. Save your file.
Now, there are two options for you to continue:
Print with a professional 3D printing service. All you need now is to upload your generated STL file to the service and choose the material. To get the best price available, go here.
Print your model by yourself – that‘s what we‘ll show you in the
If you already own a printer or have the possibility of using one, please continue with the following steps.
3D Printing Architecture Models #5: Prepare the 3D Printing Process
STL files are somewhat like a generic blueprint for every 3D model, not only 3D printable architecture models. Unfortunately, this means you have to prepare it for the 3D printer you want to use for the job. In order to get your architectural 3D model printed, you need another piece of software. Now you’ll want to install the free software Cura and start it up.
Cura is a great little program provided for free by 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker. It slices your STL file into many layers, so the printhead can follow the path laid out by the software. First, you will have to set up the printer profile and choose the data for the material you want to print your architectural 3D model with. For questions regarding Cura just a look at our quick guide here – it’s not very complicated.
After uploading or dragging your model into Cura it might appear as a very small dot on the simulated print bed. That’s not a problem at all. Simply select your tiny model and then press the feature scaling. You’ll need to experiment around, depending on how big you want your model to be.
3D Printing Architecture Models #6: Start 3D Printing
Simply select the printer you are going to use, by clicking in the right corner of Cura. In this case, we used an Ultimaker 2 Go to 3D print our architecture model. Get your printer ready and load it with the desired filament.
Now you’ll have some preparations to make before you start 3D printing yourarchitectural model:
Unless you know what you‘re printing with, prefer PLA to ABS – it‘s less complicated to print with.
To get good results, apply some glue stick on the print bed. Otherwise, the corners might be “warping”, which doesn’t look nice or professional.
Use a “raft”, if the first layers don‘t want to stick to the print bed.
You don’t need to fill your whole model with the material – an infill of 20 percent should be sufficient.
If you have any overhanging parts in your model, you will have to add supports. That means, lighter material will be printed under the model, since there is no way to print in thin air.
Now put an SD card into your computer and it will immediately show in Cura. Add your file to your Printer and start the printing process (see video below)
3D Printing Architecture Models #7: Remove the Supports
By using pliers or a knife, you can easily remove the support structures that were 3D printed. Just take a look at this before and after picture.
3D Printing Architecture Models #8: Enjoy your model!
That’s pretty much everything you need to know about 3D printable architecture models. If you have some comments, please feel free to add them below.
The MTC research organisation will be managing the new ESA Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Centre (AMBC). The goal is to provide a simple and easy way for ESA projects to explore the potential of 3D printing. The MTC is located in Coventry and home to the UK National Centre for Additive Manufacturing,
According to Torben Henriksen, Head of ESA’s Mechanical Department:
“The ESA’s Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality has called for the creation of a detailed road-map for the harnessing of 3D printing to the space sector. We’ve been guided to set up this centre, with customers and industrial partners questioning us about the best way to try out 3D printing for the first time and test out the maturity of the results.”
The move sees ESA call on the expertise of the MTC, which offers access to cutting edge 3D printing technology. A variety of prototype parts will be produced and assessed in terms of their suitability for specific applications. Lightweight 3D printed metal parts, for example, can be produced more quickly and economically with fewer design limits.
ESA and MTC Partnering on AMBC / One-Stop Shop
Dr Dave Brackett, technology manager for additive manufacturing at the MTC, reckons ESA’s involvement will be incredibly beneficial:
“This is a brilliant opportunity to further the technology in one of the most testing and dynamic application areas. As the UK National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, we are in a unique position to work with ESA as their Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Centre and provide the space sector with access to state-of-the-art capability and understanding to support industrial exploitation.”
The facility maintains a broad portfolio of materials, machines and post-processing options. This will enable the AMBC to print a variety of test hardware using polymers, metal and ceramic 3D printers.
Follow-up testing, including detailed failure investigations, will supply users with a fuller understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their chosen 3D printing method (along with advice on future improvements).
One of the first projects to make use of the Centre will be the Vega small rocket launcher. ESA will be using the AMBC to test 3D printed rocket engine thrust chambers for Vega’s upper stage. This will potentially lead to a major reduction in production times and costs.
Open Bionics Samantha Payne Helps Disabled Kids Become Superheroes
By Tyler Koslow
We talk to Open Bionics co-founder Samantha Payne about 3D printed prosthetics, turning kids into superheroes, and the value of open source.
Before 3D printing technology entered the medical realm, prosthetics devices were oftentimes seen as expensive, lacking function, and aesthetically unpleasing. However, when former tech journalist Samantha Payne met robotics engineer Joel Gibbard back in 2013, the duo decided to fuse their ambitions to help those with physical disabilities.
Together, the following year, they started the UK-based robotic arm and prosthetics firm Open Bionics. Not only has the startup managed to greatly reduced the price of prosthetics, making them more accessible to all, they’ve also made assistive devices cool to wear, especially for children.
In the past, Payne and Gibbard have collaborated with Disney to create superhero-themed prosthetics, allowing kids to turn their disability into an attachment they can be proud of. The bionic hands are based on the characters from films like Iron Man, Frozen, and Star Wars. Following in line with their focus on accessibility, the startup is also fully open source, which has helped fuel their global community.
After winning £100,000 in funding from the Small Business Research Initiatives scheme, Open Bionics recently launched an National Health Service (NHS) trial for children living with physical disability. This six-month trial will showcase the feasibility of their technology and product.
Open Bionics has also put their efforts towards the field of robotics, recently unveiling the Brunel hand. This fully articulated robotic hand has 9 degrees of freedom and 4 degrees of actuation. It can be programmed using the Arduino and offers impeccable grip and functionality.
All3DP recently sat down with Samantha Payne at the CUBE Tech Fair in Berlin. While the company’s Deus Ex-themed robotic arm was on display, we talked about the production of prosthetics and robotic arms, transforming disabled kids into superheroes, the ongoing NHS clinical trial, and more.
Q: How did Open Bionics first come about?
Joel and I decided to team up and build Open Bionics because I was thinking about robotic hands in a more wearable tech way. Joel was thinking of robotic hands as a medical device, clinical. I was thinking of it like, I wouldn’t want to wear that because that looks really ugly in its current form factor. Why wouldn’t you want it to be pink or glittery? If I want to wear it, I want it to look cool. That’s how we started. That’s where the idea started. It’s how we build prosthetics.
From that – that was obviously very early-stage thinking – we got in a room with a group of amputees and asked them loads of questions around prosthetics, pain points, mechanical experience, insurance. From the moment that you either bond without limb, what is the process that you go through? What’s the journey you go on to get a limb? Or, if you have a traumatic amputation, what happens then? We got tons of feedback from hundreds of amputees. We saw that 3D printing could enable us to make devices a lot faster and a lot cheaper, which meant a lot more people could access them. That was the main push to do this.
Q: You have that whole connection with Disney and focusing on younger kids. Can you talk about how you connected with them and the importance of giving a sense of personality to these prosthetics?
Yeah, of course. When we did this co-creation methodology, this co-design with amputees, out of these amputee workshops from kids came the idea of “I want to look like Spider-Man.” In fact, there was a little kid named Alfie from Ireland who we spoke to. The first thing he asked for was a Power Ranger hand. We were like, oh, how were we going to get him a Power Ranger hand? At the time, there were people online making super hero hands, but they weren’t official and we were really worried about copyright and ripping off people’s designs without crediting them.
We went to Disney and told them we wanted to build real super hero hands for kids who don’t have them. We want them to be exactly like they appear in the movies. We want to make replicas and give kids like Tony Stark’s Ironman hand to take to school. They really loved the idea. That’s how it got started. We worked with their artists and collaborated on design ideas. I think the reason why amputees really love it is because in terms of design, they’ve been neglected for a really long time. There’s not much at all being offered for them. Having good design increases limb adoption rates.
It helps them feel embodied so they adopt the limb faster. It’s their limb, rather than just something that they’ve been told to wear. There’s a sense of pride in it. Suddenly, your prosthetic isn’t a medical device that you have to wear. It’s something that you really enjoy, something you’re proud of. It expresses your personality. It’s something that makes your friends jealous. That’s the biggest feedback we’ve had from all of the people who’ve tried our devices is that when they get to show their family, all of the family is like, “Oh my god, that’s so cool. I want one.”
It kind of spins around the stigma around disability, where people automatically go to a pity mode. It’s not like that with these designs that we’ve seen.
Q: What are some of the advantages in your view that 3D printing offers the medical field that other techniques can’t really accomplish?
3D printing is awesome for healthcare because it can be localized. You can take it anywhere. You can print remotely. You could have really cheap affordable 3D printers in developing countries or low-income countries send files across the web and print locally. It’s super important and will be much more important as time goes on. Printing, although everyone who does 3D printing says, it’s so slow, but it’s not. It’s actually really fast compared to other methods. And it will get faster, so that’s really good.
Bio printing is going to be really big in healthcare. Stem cells, skin cells, printing organs and limbs, even limbs, I think. I’m really thinking that will be happening. That’s really life changing, industry changing, I think, for certain.
Then you have scoliosis braces. You have wrist braces for broken bones. All of these devices have so many different benefits. I would take me a really long time to go through. It’s faster and cheaper to make and you can do it locally. Also, it helps the limb to breathe. It’s not going to get sweaty. You can also mold the splint in the right pressure areas really easily and you can thermoform. Each of these areas have tons of different benefits. There’s also 3D printing in dentistry now, which is super cool.
They’re scared of new technologies. They’re scared of 3D scanning and 3D printing. They think it’s going to lead to job displacement so you won’t have any many clinicians in the hospitals. There needs to be loads of education around 3D printing and healthcare and job safety. No one’s trying to replace anyone. We’re just trying to make the experience better for patients.
As far as your own process, I know you said you started with a Lulzbot Can you talk about the technology that you currently use and the post-processing after the print?
Yeah. We have been using, at the moment, mostly Ultimaker 3. We’re using Lulzbot for our first bit of prototyping. Then we quickly change to Ultimaker 3 because we found that their printing was much more reliable and faster. They also brought in a dual extruder, which is awesome. They allowed us to print flexible materials before anyone else did at a really cheap price. That was really cool. So we’re using Ultimaker and we’ve got a BQ Witbox. That’s cool because it has an enclosed chamber to protect the environment, which will be a brilliant point as we get more and clinical.
What’s the development process behind the prosthetics, from design to 3D printing and then into post-processing?
At the moment we’re using a 3D scanner as the central structure. We’re testing that in a clinical setting with clinicians this month. Hopefully the scans will pick up enough data so that doctors can make really decent sockets from it. Then from the occipital scan, we 3D print using Ultimaker and Witbox with Cheetah filament from Fenner Drive.
We’ve been testing a ton of different ways of making smooth prints. We’re still experimenting that. We’re trying to find a way that we can do it in-house without using SLS printers because it gets way more expensive and not the point of our goal to make prosthetics affordable. We’re trying poly smooth. We’re trying lots of different ways of making the devices smoother. At the moment, what we’re trying to do is cut down the amount of detail that we have on our designs so that post-processing is no time at all. That’s something that we’re working on.
I’m also very curious about your focus on open source community. Can you talk about why you were so adamant about making that a part of your business and how that has helped drive you guys forward?
Yeah. Wendell and myself, we decided that there were so many problems in the prosthetics industry after we spoke to amputees. This is actually really bad. One of our missions was to accelerate the growth of the technology. The best way we could think of doing that was by being open source and allowing other researchers to basically use our platform so that they could make their own moves forward much faster. We did open a developer forum and we had a few people quite interested in that. It sized down a lot recently.
But mostly we see researchers in big institutes across the U.S. using our designs in labs. They use it for anything from testing new control systems – making better EMG systems and using machine learning to make way more dexterous hands. We are seeing a lot of progress in prosthetics. Our device is being used to enable that progress. The biggest value we have seen is from the researchers telling us what they’re doing – how they’re using it and how they’re pushing the tech forward, and from amputees who have downloaded the designs, 3D printed them and then shown us the changes that they’ve made and suggestions for changes that we should do. Those are the biggest values that we’ve seen.
Can you talk about the advances with the Brunel hand and what the idea was behind that?
The Ada hand was a really interesting phase for us because we had never sold a product before. It was interesting because we hadn’t thought through well enough how we priced it. We actually priced the Ada Hand too cheap for us to build it and ship it and assemble it and box it up and then deal with supports. Lots of people had questions because it was open source as well. People were like, can you help me change the software? We hadn’t really built into the price our engineering time to support people with their projects. With the Brunel, the main improvements are the strength – it is way more stronger than the Ada hand – and has a much better grip.
When researchers are basically testing with picking up glasses or tiny objects like screws or bits of Lego, this is way more accomplished than the Ada hand. The Ada hand could pick up bigger objects and hold them, but this is going to hold very small and large objects with ease, and heavy objects. We wanted to develop this hand because it would have a greater range and would allow researchers to test more activities.
Thinking robotics and 3D printing, besides just helping with new prosthetics, do you see this kind of thing having a future in fashion and art and those fields at all?
That is a bold future. I think we are decades away from having a hand that can match the human hand in terms of functionality and these bionics look cool and they are going to look super sweet in 5 to ten years. They’re going to look amazing. I don’t think they’ll have the senses, the touch that we have and the strength and flexibility. When we get to that point, I can totally see that happening. I don’t think there’s a reason why that wouldn’t happen. It’s just a body augmentation.
Obviously, you have the game – there’s a game screen open on the computer. Is this hand inspired from it or what’s the connection here?
This is a 3D camera so you can control the hand. The connection is that. That design there and this here is this guy’s arm. So it’s an exact copy design of his arm. We worked with the artists at Deus Ex to create this limb. We made another one called the Titan arm. The point was to make these cyber-punk, high-fashion devices that people really enjoyed wearing. It just basically empowers the person who’s wearing it.
What does Open Bionics have in store for the near future?
We’re in the middle of a clinical trial right now or this month we have an open trial with ten kids aged 8 to 18. That’s really big for us. I think it’s big for the industry because it’s the first time a 3D printed wearable medical device has ever been tested in a clinical setting and prescribed to patients. It’s the first time a multi-grip, advanced bionic arm is going to be given out through the National Health Service in the U.K. It’s two big changes. That, in itself, is a big step change. After that, we’re going to be selling these devices in Europe and then hopefully in the beginning of next year in the U.S.
From then on, we’ve already signed to research and develop different products like other assistive devices. When we started on bionics, we were focused on just making bionic hands. Now that we’ve really dived into the realm of disability and robotics and assistive devices, we can see different applications for our technology. Robotic gloves for people who’ve had strokes, really cheap, affordable exoskeletons, and even full-body exoskeletons. Then lower limb prosthetics. There’s a ton of areas and directions we can go into. I think it’s going to be a really interesting journey for us once we’ve nailed the bionic hand bracket.
Now, scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are developing a new metal printing method called Diode-based Additive Manufacturing (DiAM). The research team believes that this technique could enable faster production of large 3D printed metal objects.
LLNL’s Potentially Revolutionary Metal 3D Printing Process
This process uses an array of high-power laser diodes, a Q-switched laser, and specialized laser modulator to flash print an entire layer of metal powder at one time. Compared to the typical powder-fusion additive manufacturing system, which uses a raster scanner with a laser across each layer, this method should be much faster.
LLNL scientists claim that the possibility to print large metal objects in a fraction of the time could revolutionize additive manufacturing. Their method would be particularly useful in the aerospace and automotive industry. The DiAM process combines speed and as well as greater design flexibility that if “far beyond” current systems.
“By cutting the print time and having the ability to upscale, this process could revolutionize metal additive manufacturing. The illumination time savings, we estimate, is such that a one cubic meter build that would require 10 years of raster-scanned illumination to make would require only a few hours with DiAM, because you can image each layer at once,” says Ibo Matthews, the LLNL scientist heading the research.
This method is made possible by a customized laser modulator called an Optically Addressable Light Valve (OALV). The component contains a liquid crystal cell and photoconductive crystal. The OALV is used to sculpt the high-power laser light via pre-programmed layer-by-layer images. While this technology was originally developed in 2010, the combination with high-power laser diode arrays create this new technique.
Not only can the DiAM process produce larger parts, it could also result in better control over residual stress and material microstructure. This possibility is due to the ability to fine-tune gradients in the projected image, enhancing the overall imaging quality.
Lastly, this method is expected to be more cost-effective than fiber laser-based printers. According to LLNL, the laser diodes array is cheaper to produce than its counterpart.